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Quick Tomato Soup with Crunchy Garlic Croutons

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Quick Tomato Soup with Crunchy Garlic Croutons

Posted on 28 August 2012 by noelskitchen

This is a “quick but real” soup – it’s simple for the older kids to help make, perfect start-to-finish time of 20 minutes for a busy weeknight, and contains just a few simple ingredients found in your pantry.

 

Quick Tomato Soup with Crunchy Garlic Croutons

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 6 to 8 slices of leftover garlic bread*
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup onions, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Fresh basil, optional
  • Fresh dill, optional

*sourdough bread works wonderfully too – just cut into cubes, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and bake in oven until desired crunchiness.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the bread on a cutting board. Next, cut into cubes (kids ages eight and up can do this). Place the cubes on a baking sheet and bake.  The desired crunchiness is a matter of taste: keep an eye on the croutons and let your child determine when ready (5 to 10 minutes).
  3. Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a medium-size saucepan. Add the minced onion, the two garlic cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook and stir over medium-low heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until the onions become very soft and your kitchen smells really good.
  4. Open the can of tomatoes and place the tomatoes and their juice into a food processor or blender. Add the cooked onions and garlic. Puree until smooth.
  5. Pour the pureed mixture into a saucepan. Heat it slowly, stirring occasionally. When it’s warm, slowly drizzle in the milk. stir until combined.
  6. Ladle the soup into serving bowls. If desired, a a few shakes of salt and pepper to taste. If you have fresh basil or fresh dill, snip tiny bits into the soup with kitchen scissors.
  7. Put the croutons into a big bowl in the middle of the table and let everyone float a handful in their bowls of soup.

Cooking Tips:

  • Parents should be in charge of putting the baking sheet into the oven and taking it out.
  • Blades on a food processor and blenders are extremely sharp, so parents should remove the food from either type of kitchen appliance.
  • In the summer, when you have an abundance of tomatoes in your garden, substitute 3 pounds of fresh tomatoes. Core them, cut into chunks, cook in a covered saucepan over medium heat for 15 minutes, and proceed with the recipe.
  • Croutons are always popular with kids, so my recommendation is to make extra and keep them around for salads, and of course snaking.

Comments (1)

Tags: , Quick and Easy Bread Recipes, , Salad, Soup

Homemade Croutons

Posted on 21 February 2012 by noelskitchen

Not only does making homemade croutons allow you to utilize the ends of the loaves of bread, it also allows you to make delicious, fresh croutons to add to your salads and soups.

Home Made Croutons Are Easy To Make

With a little bit of oil and seasoning, you can have homemade bread crumbs in 5 to 7 minutes-it’s that easy!

Croutons in our house are like potato chips. They get gobbled up before they make it to the salad or topping of a meal. If I want them toi last longer, I simply cube the leftover bread, place in a zip-loc freezer bag and toss in the freezer. When I’m ready to use them, I pull out about a cup or two and toss with oilve oil and a bit of seasoning and bake.

If you have leftover regular sandwich bread or loaves of french bread, making homemade croutons only takes a few simple steps to make.  Simply cut the bread into cubes as shown below, then follow directions below and you’ll have tasty homemade croutons in no time.

 Homemade Croutons

Ingredients:

  • Leftover bread or baquette, cut into cubes (white or wheat)
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • Optional: Parmesan cheese, dried herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary), garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Toss bread cubes with olive oil, salt, pepper and seasonings (see above) on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until golden. Cool.

 Toss a few croutons on some Quick Minestrone Soup from my post earlier that I shared over the weekend for a great combination.

Homemade croutons, stored in a plastic container or a plastic bag, last up to two weeks unrefrigerated.

Enjoy!

Comments (5)

Tags: , , Soups

Quick Minestrone Soup

Posted on 19 February 2012 by noelskitchen

A basic but lovely vegetable soup – it’s jam-packed fully of goodness and will do anyone who eats it the world of good! 

Soup is a great way to make the most of leftover vegetables which can spoil more quickly. Make up a big batch of soup– you can keep the rest in the fridge for light suppers, packed lunches, and even freeze portions in zip-loc bags to eat another day. This soup is great for using up any odds and ends of pasta.

 Quick Minestrone Soup

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 strips bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 large potato, scrubbed and diced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Large handful of spinach leaves
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pot over a medium heat and add olive oil. Throw in the bacon and fry it gently until it starts to turn brown.( The kitchen should smell fantastic right about now.) Add the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then, until the vegetables have softened.
  2. Add the tomatoes, potato and vegetable broth, then cover with a lid and bring everything slowly to the boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes, then check (with the tip of a paring knife) that the potato is soft and cooked through.
  3. Add the spinach and pasta, and cook for 10 more minutes, until the pasta is cooked. If the soup is too thick for you after cooking the pasta, thin it with a little more broth or water.
  4. Finish by seasoning with a little salt and black pepper and pass the Parmesan around the table for people to sprinkle on their soup.

The ingredients I used were just what I had on hand in my pantry and refrigerator. You could certainly use kale, leeks, basil, chick peas or kidney beans in this recipe.

Comments (3)

Tags: , Main Dish, Noel, Potato Chowder, Soups and Stews

Loaded Potato, Corn and Broccoli Chowder

Posted on 12 December 2011 by noelskitchen

Original Potato Chowder

 

Servings: 4-6

 

 Ingredients:

  •  3 baking potatoes, large ( about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 3 1/2 cups milk, divided
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 -3 green onions ( with tops)
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
  • bacon, chopped and cooked
  • sour cream
  • broccoli florets, steamed (optional)
  • 2 cups frozen corn(optional)

Ingredients:

  1. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise with knife.
  2. Place in a microwavable baker.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of the milk over the potatoes.
  4. Cover and Cook on high for 11 minutes. Remove baker from microwave.
  5. Move center potatoes to ends of baker and outer potatoes to center.
    Cover and microwave on high 8 to 11 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
    Remove baker from microwave and coarsely mash potatoes with potato masher.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk cream cheese until smooth in microwavable mixing bowl.
  7. Slowly add remaining 3 cups milk, whisking until smooth.
  8. Add cream cheese mixture, corn and butter to baker.
  9. Microwave, covered, on high 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture is hot.
    Slice green onions with knife.
  10. Carefully remove baker from microwave. Grate cheddar cheese over chowder.
  11. Add green onions, salt, and black pepper and mix until cheese is melted.
  12. Serve with bacon, sour cream, and broccoli, if desired.

Comments (0)

Tomato Soup

Tags: , , Soups

Tomato Soup

Posted on 04 December 2011 by noelskitchen

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes, cored, peeled, and chopped (8-10) or 4 cups canned whole tomatoes, crushed
  • 4 cups tomato juice (or part vegetable or part chicken stock)
  • 12 -14 basil leaves, washed fresh
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 lb sweet unsalted butter
  • salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine tomatoes, juice/and or stock in saucepan.
  2. Simmer 30 minutes.
  3. Puree, along with the basil leaves, in small batches, in blender, food processor (or better yet, one of those handy hand-held food blenders, right in the cooking pan). Return to saucepan and add cream and butter, while stirring, over low heat. Garnish with basil leaves and serve with your favorite bread.

Comments (0)

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